Business prizes: Winning firms lauded for tech focus

(From left) Mirxes founder Too Heng-Phon, Business Times editor Alvin Tay, Minister of State (National Development and Trade and Industry) Koh Poh Koon, Benjamin Barker managing director Nelson Yap, Ecommerce Enablers CEO Henry Chan, Innovfusion proj
(From left) Mirxes founder Too Heng-Phon, Business Times editor Alvin Tay, Minister of State (National Development and Trade and Industry) Koh Poh Koon, Benjamin Barker managing director Nelson Yap, Ecommerce Enablers CEO Henry Chan, Innovfusion project director Gabriel Tan, OCBC Bank global commercial banking head Linus Goh and Cravefx creative director Joshua Tan at the Emerging Enterprise Awards ceremony last Friday.PHOTO: OCBC BANK

Clothing retailer Benjamin Barker; Ecommerce Enablers, which operates cashback shopping platform Shopback; and medical firm Innovfusion, which specialises in pain management and anaesthesia, have emerged as the top three winners of the Emerging Enterprise Awards this year.

The annual awards, jointly organised by The Business Times and OCBC Bank, recognise promising emerging enterprises with annual sales turnover of less than $15 million which are outstanding in their various fields.

The three winners will receive $500,000 in prizes comprising consultancy services, executive education programmes and support in capability development.

These include a $200,000 two-year interest-free business overdraft facility, $20,000 credit in the OCBC Business Debit Card and a MasterCard Priceless Travel Experience Package worth $30,000 for each winner.

The winners will also each receive a strategic brand and product development research package from Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants worth $30,000, an open enrolment programme package from business school Insead worth $30,000 and a consulting package for growing businesses from advisory firm RSM worth $30,000.

They will also get support from Spring Singapore in capability development.

Altogether, the prize package amounts to $1.5 million, up from last year's $1.32 million.

The firms were received their trophies at an award ceremony at the St Regis hotel last Friday evening.

The evening was also an eventful one for animation studio Cravefx, which won the Best Innovation Award. It will receive an Information and Communications Technology business solutions package from Singtel worth up to $30,000 and a $50,000 interest-free business overdraft facility from OCBC.

Mirxes, a life science company focusing on detection kits for the early identification and management of cancer cases, was given the Most Promising Startup Award. It will receive $30,000 worth of digital consultancy services from Maxus.

The winners were chosen out of a pool of 16 finalists. OCBC's head of emerging business, Mr Eric Ong, said that what set the winners apart was their ability to capitalise on new consumer trends and needs to come up with solutions that ingeniously tapped innovation and technology.

Business Times editor Alvin Tay agreed, saying that the finalists "combined their passion and knowledge with cutting-edge technology to come up with offerings that have the potential to revolutionise their industry, as well as the way we work, live and play in future".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2016, with the headline 'Business prizes: Winning firms lauded for tech focus'. Print Edition | Subscribe